Manali in Himachal Pradesh has long attracted tourists, particularly during the summer months, when entire India suffers the wrath of the unbearable heat waves. People need a quick escape in the Himalayas and they usually end up in Manali making it a crowded junction. The ease of access from New Delhi and Chandigarh also made Manali a popular weekend getaway – just catch a comfortable evening bus and wake up in Manali the following morning. While getting to Manali is certainly an easy deal, it has unfortunately lost its originality with such soaring popularity, and with it, any possibility of getting a peaceful holiday experience. From Manali to Old Manali to Vashishth, all connecting towns have become a touristic chaos. And camping near Manali, somewhere away from the town is the only option to escape the madness. Read more
The whiff of mud after a drizzle, the chilling wind, the topsy-turvy roads revealing the best of the panoramic view and the Lahauli songs playing loudly in the car, made my lips stretch into a smile. Sometimes while some famous song played, I would be explained the meaning and then we all would follow the dancing step as shown by the elderly lady clad in a Lahauli dress. The little girl of the family in the car kept smiling and waving a goodbye to each vehicle we crossed on Manali-Leh highway. In between, I was asked if I wanted the freshly plucked pears and apples from their farm. The nectar-like taste of those fruits, the music and the fun we had, made me realize the perks of hitchhiking especially on Manali-Leh Highway. It is more than just a drop! Read more
Nyokum Yullo, that literally means ‘coming together to celebrate’ is a pre-cultivation festival of the Nyishi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The chanting of the Mantras, rituals and the sacrifices are made to invoke and please the Mother Nature or Goddess Nyokum who is supposed to bless the land with rains, fertility, and production and also save them from the wrath of nature in any form viz. famine, flood, drought or infections to their crops. The prayers also aim to seek the safety of the Nyishi people from any accidents or unforeseen circumstances.
The festival is also an opportunity for the Nyishis to meet others and cherish the proud heritage of their declining culture. It is a way for the Nyishis to preserve their ancient religion of Donyi Polo during the time of modern influences and the prevalence of other dominating religions. Read more
My first encounter and an impression of the Nyishis, one of the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in India, was that of a jolly natured people who dressed like ancient Greeks. And their adaptation of modern fashion stunned me even more. The grand celebration of 50th Nyokum Yullo Festival at Yazali brought me closer to the unbelievable fashion sense and creativity in their tribal costumes. The striking part was that each model showed the indigenous sense of the tribe to utilize the natural objects that almost nullifies the garbage. Apart from the Nyishi tribe that wears a costume called Par Eij and Pomo, here you would see the variety of Arunachal Pradesh traditional dresses.
……..in Love with Madhya Pradesh… 😉
She roars like a lioness as she plunges down the rocks creating a smoggy riot named Dhuadhaar falls and tumbles down the rocky path creating the wavy music. Then, like a tired child, she falls into a deep slumber in a cradle of the silky marbles. Sunbirds sing a lullaby to her as she quietly slithers through the marble rocks at Jabalpur, leaving them sculpted with indefinite designs. Read more
Being a Garba crazy child in Gujarat, I used to hum the Gujarati folksongs mentioning the expensive Patolas of Patan. Back then, I hardly cared about what Patan patola Saree was and why were they so expensive. I hardly cared to even know about it until we planned a road trip to North Gujarat covering Modhera, Patan, and Sidhpur. Read more
India is famous as the Land of Spices. It was for the spices that the Europeans took hell lot of effort to find a new route to India. The spices brought riches not only to India but also to the merchants who sold it all over the world. Since the time immemorial they have been must-have ingredients in the kitchens of even the best of the chefs. So, after visiting the Bigfoot Museum and Fonteinhas, I planned to stroll in the wild and visit a spice plantation Goa. Though Goa has vast fields for spice plantation, for the travelers’ sake, most of these big farms have opened the mini spice garden for the tourists in Goa.
Beyond the hustle and bustle of the most happening town of Kasol lies hidden among the hills, an ancient village of Grahan. The local claims it to be as old as the historic town of Malana. The beauty of Grahan Village is untouched by the tourists and trekkers (Written and visited in 2016) and is thus in its purest form. Unlike Malana, the people of Grahan Village are very friendly and the village is way much cleaner than Malana. Till 2014, when I visited it the first time, the village didn’t have any guest house or hotel. And just within the time span of 2 years, proper Homestays with modern amenities have come up. Though I feel it will make the village lose its original charm, it caters the basic need of a traveller. The only way to reach Grahan Village is by trekking from Kasol.
Thanjavur, ‘Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu’ is the capital of art and literature of Tamil Nadu state in India. During the Chola rule, Tanjore was the bustling capital of the empire. This city proves to be a perfect destination for an art and architecture lover considering its major attraction of the Thanjavur Big Temple. The smiling people of the city add to the beauty of the city along with dancing dolls called Thanjavur dolls or Bommai and Thanjavur paintings. It is said to have been named as Tanjor after a demon named “Tanoj”, who wished the town to be named after him. Reaching to this city is quite easy from Chennai and Bangalore through direct trains and buses. There are many amazing places to visit in Thanjavur Even if it is your One day tour to Thanjavur.
Enough is said and written about the famous tourist places like Marine Drive, Chaupati, Band Stand, Juhu Beach and Gateway of India that stand like iconic symbols of the city. But there is much more to explore in Mumbai than these haunts. Especially, when you are exploring Mumbai to experience its culture then you must opt for the unusual places. And here is the list of offbeat things to do in Mumbai to help all traveling souls.